AI Ghana believes there is no scientific evidence or data backing capital punishment to reduce crime rate in the country, hence the call for it to be repealed from the constitution.
AI Ghana in marking the 17th World Day against Death Penalty Event – 2019 at the Achimota Mall Saturday, October 12, 2019, in Accra, focused on the global theme: “Children; Unseen victims of death penalty.”
Samuel Komla Agbotsey, Campaigns and Fundraising Co-ordinator, addressing The Chronicle and other media organisations said death penalty has some social effects on society, especially those left behind.
According to him, the rights of children of parents sentenced to death or subject to execution are seldom discussed and have largely been neglected.
In Ghana, he could not be sure of whether there are available data on the number of children whose parents were sentenced by death penalty or subject to execution or there were any known by Civil Society Organisation.
Meanwhile, Committee on the Rights of the Child says the stigma faced by children whose parents have been sentenced to death may result in multiple forms of discrimination, therefore, protection of their rights would be a distant dream.
He said aside stigmatisation and various forms of discrimination, children with parents facing the death penalty may feel a deep sense of uncertainty and might avenge it on society.
“In these situation post-traumatic stress disorder, aggressive behaviour and self-harm often go hand in hand. Overall, children endure this experience in deep loneliness and hopelessness. These children have truly been left behind as against the Motto of the SDGs,” he said.
He continued that Children may understand that a parent has done wrong and needs to be held accountable, but they will not be able to understand and accept that the State deliberately plans to kill the parent.
“This may trigger a lack of trust in legislators, law enforcement, the judiciary and reflect in their behaviour and integration into society later in life,” he added.
He proposed that Ghana should do the following in the interim, commute all death sentences by signing the Second Optional Protocol, focus on rehabilitation and abolish the death penalty by implementing the Constitution Review Commission Recommendation.
In totality, the sentencing people to death should be replaced with live imprisonment. Read Full Story